US House Republicans vow to punish federal workers who walk out over Gaza

Yasmine Osama Farag , Monday 15 Jan 2024

Top House Republicans plan to press federal agencies to punish federal workers who participate in a planned walkout on Tuesday in protest of the Biden administration's support for Israel, AXIOS reported.

Demonstrators rally during the March on Washington for Gaza at Freedom Plaza in Washington, Jan. 2024. AP


Hundreds of federal staffers from more than two dozen agencies, including the White House, the Pentagon, and the State Department, are set to walk off the job on Tuesday in protest of Biden's handling of the Israeli war on Gaza, according to Al Monitor news site.

An internal cabal calling itself "Feds United for Peace" has organized the strike for Tuesday to observe a "Day of Mourning" on the 100th day since Israel began its military assault in Gaza last October.

House Speaker Mike Johnson said on Sunday that Federal employees deserve to be fired if they participate in the planned walkout.

“Any government worker who walks off the job to protest US support for our ally Israel is ignoring their responsibility and abusing the trust of taxpayers,” Johnson posted on X. “They deserve to be fired.”

Johnson also vowed to work with House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, to “ensure that each federal agency initiates appropriate disciplinary proceedings against any person who participates in Tuesday's demonstration.

Resignations in protest

The protest comes as Biden has faced mounting pressure over his support of Israel from inside and outside the federal government.

On 4 January, US Education Department official Tariq Habash quit to protest the administration's crucial military support of Israel's war on Gaza and its handling of the war's repercussions at home and abroad.

Habash became at least the second official, and the first known official of Palestinian origin, to resign from the administration in protest of Biden's stance regarding the war. State Department veteran Josh Paul stepped down in October as the administration accelerated arms transfers to Israel.

A day before Habash's resignation, 17 of Biden’s re-election campaign staffers issued a warning in an anonymous letter that the US president could lose voters over his stance in the Israeli war on Gaza, Reuters reported.

In their letter, the campaign staffers urged Biden to call for a ceasefire in Gaza and to take “concrete steps to end the conditions of apartheid, occupation, and ethnic cleansing that are the root causes of this conflict.”

Cities across the US have seen hundreds of demonstrations in support of Palestinians since the war erupted in Gaza.

Most recently, protestors in the US capital on Sunday held aloft signs questioning Biden's viability as a presidential candidate because of his staunch support for Israel. Some of the signs read: “No votes for Genocide Joe,” “Biden has blood on his hands," and “Let Gaza live.”

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